What is a 24hr Blood Pressure Monitor?
24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) uses a digital machine to take blood pressure readings, at regular intervals, throughout the day. The machine is small enough to be worn on a belt on your waist while the cuff stays on your upper arm.
NOTE: This service is not covered by OHIP. Payment is required on the day of your appointment. We accept cash, debit and credit card payments. Your insurance may offer reimbursement for this expense, please inquire with your insurance provider.
Why is it done?
- Check if your blood pressure (BP) is normal, high or low throughout the day.
- Get a more accurate look at your BP readings. Readings done in the doctors office are often higher due to ‘white-coat syndrome’ (an anxiety-induced blood pressure spike).
- Assess the effectiveness of your current blood pressure medications.
How do I prepare?
You can eat normally and take your medications, at their usual times, before the test. We recommend patients:
Wear comfortable clothing.
Bathe or shower in the days (or hours) before your test. You cannot bathe, shower or swim during the 24 testing period.
What happens during the test?
A technician will explain the process and attach the blood pressure monitor
- The blood pressure cuff will be attached to the upper portion of your left arm (in line with your heart).
- The blood pressure monitor will be attached to a belt on your waist.
- The monitor typically records your blood pressure every 15-30 minutes during the day and 30-60 minutes during the night.
The resulting ECG is interpreted by a doctor (internist, family physician, and/or cardiologist).
- After 24 hours of wear, you can remove the monitor and cuff and return it to the clinic.
- Hold your arm in a relaxed positions when the monitoring is recording (you’ll hear an audible beep before the recording begins) .
- Keep the cuff at the same level as your heart.
A normal blood pressure level is less than 120/80 mmHg.
The ABPM monitor averages your blood pressure levels across the entire 24 hour period. It also averages active and sleeping readings separately to provide an in-depth look of your overall levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I eat before the test?
Yes. Please eat and drink normally before your test.
Should I take my medications the day of ?
Yes. Take any medications on your normal, prescribed, schedule.
What should I wear for my test?
Wear loose, comfortable clothing for your test. The cuff will be attached to your upper arm and the monitor will be attached to a belt at your waistline and remain there for a full 24 hours.
Does it hurt?
No. There’s no pain associated with wearing a 24 hour blood pressure monitor. Some people may experience slight discomfort (pressures) when the cuff inflates.
How/When do I get my results?
Your test results will be sent to the referring physician and your family doctor. If a consultation has been requested, we will set up an appointment for you to speak to a cardiologist to discuss the results with you.
When do I return the monitor?
You can return the monitor to our office once after the 24 hour monitoring period.